India: The Annual Intellectual Property Report 2017-18 – A Trademark Perspective

September 19, 2019

Chapter V of the Annual Intellectual Property Report 2017-18 discloses the 59th Annual Report on the activities performed by the Trademark Registry. The role of the Trademark Registry was further expanded by international filings after India’s accession to the Madrid Protocol. The Trademark Rules, 2002 were completely revised and replaced by the Trademark Rules, 2017 which came into force on March 6, 2017.

The number of applications filed for registration of trademarks in 2017-18 has slightly declined but the number of trademarks registered annually has increased. Here are the trends of trademark applications filed in the past 5 years:

Year Indian Applicants Foreign Applicants Total
2013-14 1,84,140 15,865 2,00,005
2014-15 2,02,654 7,847 2,10,501
2015-16 2,67,390 15,670 2,83,060
2016-17 2,66,730 11,440 2,78,170
2017-18 2,47,734 25,307 2,72,974

On the contrary, the number of trademark registered in 2017-18 rose to 300913 as compared to 250070 in the preceding year. The factors that contributed to the increase in the number of trademarks registered in 2017-18 when compared to previous years are as follows:

  • The amendments to the Trademark Rules, 2002 reduced number of forms from 74 to 8 and enable the filing of a single application form for all kinds of trademark applications.
  • To empower star-ups in India, a concession of 50% in trademark fees has been introduced through the trademark amendment rules.
  • The provision for filing of extensions for submission of evidences and affidavits has also been introduced to speed up the registration procedure.
  • 10% concession fees has been provided through the Trademark (Amendment) Rules, 2017, in line with designs and patents.
  • Indian Patent Office (hereinafter referred to as IPO) website has been redesigned to facilitate IP data on a real-time basis for trademarks.

Application filed by Foreign Applicants:

The top four nations with the highest number of foreign applications remained the same as in the previous year (1. USA, 2. China, 3. UK, 4. Japan) but Republic of Korea has been replaced by United Arab Emirates for the fifth spot in 2017-18. The number of applications filed by foreign applicants in the year 2017-18 was 25307. Given below is the nation-wise comparison between the trends from 2017-18 and 2016-17:

Country Number of Applications filed in 2016-17 Number of Applications filed in 2017-18
United States of America 3,792 3,779
China 1,360 1,793
United Kingdom 761 613
Japan 549 608
United Arad Emirates 244 368
Germany 372 345
Singapore 336 341
Hong Kong 257 337
Republic of Korea 476 313
Taiwan, Province of China 221 278
Switzerland 314 273
Canada 164 255
British Virgin Islands 146 232
Italy 153 201
Cayman Islands 218 188
France 268 171
Thailand 123 136
Australia 127 134
Netherlands 149 129
Malaysia 108
Through Madrid System 13,475
Total 11,440 25,307


The reasons for the increase in the number of trademarks filed in the year 2017-18 are[1]:

  • International Programmes were organized for Asia Pacific and BRICS countries.
  • The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (hereinafter referred to as ‘CGPDTM’) held a bilateral meeting the Japan Patent office Commissioner.
  • Certain Members of the Chinese Intellectual Property Office visited India.
  • A MoU was signed by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office.
  • A meeting was held between the CGPDTM and the European Patent Office to assess bilateral activities for co-operation.


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